Waste or mistakes never happen in a farm kitchen.....only future animal or plant food.

July 22, 2011

Fa Fa's Mom's Spaghetti - A tribute

I have a dear friend who I have known since we were in diapers together. We spent a lot of time together in each other's homes, playing, laughing, fighting, getting into trouble.  Fa Fa was a nickname given to her by a pesky friend of the family.  I had one too, but I'm not tellin'.  For some reason, we thought it was hilarious to call each by these names as we got older....YEARS of entertainment.

Fa Fa's mom was a petite woman with a quiet, yet spunky demeanor and a BIG voice.  She was a beautiful singer and her voice could sing a song like a bear hug or stop you dead in your tracks. (Remember the getting in trouble part?)  Fa Fa was taller than her Mom in 4th grade or so, I think I passed her in height a year or so later.  She was still short even when wearing platform heels.  They suited her though.

She made the BEST spaghetti, I LOVED it!  I never could figure out how she made it though......until I came across this post during a "follow the rabbit trail" session from blog link to blog link. Oh wow....could it be...the missing, "secret" ingredient that had eluded me all these years....it was too simple.....

KETCHUP!   But of course, cheap, easy and beloved by kids with picky and overly bland taste buds.

So here is my version as best as I can replicate it from the depths of my memory:

Spaghetti pasta (Lundburg makes a nice Rice Pasta if you want to avoid gluten)
  • Cook according to directions, then let sit in water at least a few minute longer...kids prefer soft or even borderline soggy pasta.

3/4-1 cup ketchup (Real cane sugar sweetened only...this is pre HFCS days)
Sugar/Cream of tartar to taste (kid's meal, the sweeter the better)
4 TBS unflavored beef gelatin (not likely to part of HER original recipe, but it works for good quality protein)
Sea Salt to taste ( I used approx 1 TBS)
Freshly grated dry cheese to taste (I used Asiago because that is what I had, but she probably used Parmesan.)
  • Melt the above together until gelatin and cheese are completely dissolved
  • Drain pasta completely
2 TBS butter (Enough to cover pasta to keep from sticking together, not much more)
  • Mix sauce and pasta together and let sit until just above room temperature. (I don't remember ever having to blow on my serving of spaghetti to cool it down, it was always just right.)
  • Add extra cheese as desired to individual servings.

I was going to add some leftover bacon to jazz it up, but decided against it this time.

Plain and simple, just right.

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  1. Hi Jenny,
    What a beautiful post and a great recipe. I just love all those recipes that bring back wonderful memories for us. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon. Hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  2. I love homemade spaghetti sauce! So much better than the stuff you can buy at the store!